Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


APPENDIX H

A CIVIL SERVICE FOR THE 21st CENTURY: DSA's MODERNISING GOVERNMENT ACTION PLAN

Action Point 1

  Vision and values statement to staff.

  The Agency has prepared a vision and values statement that has been published in the Agency house journal, written into the corporate plan and communicated to all staff through oral briefings. DSA has published the Civil Service vision and values statement in the Agency's house journal. Briefing leaflets have been issued and the topic was presented at the Agency's management conference in February2000.

Action Point 2

  Define the new leadership qualities (Cabinet Office),Departments use for targeted recruitment/promotion.

  We are awaiting details of the new leadership qualities from Cabinet Office before taking this forward.

Action Point 3

  Extend 360º feedback to everyone in SCS by end 2001.

  Although DSA has two senior civil servants (SCS), the Chief Executive and Finance Director, DETR C are responsible for their staff reporting arrangements. We have no plans at present to introduce 360-degree feedback to staff at Grade 6 level and below.

Action Point 4

  Develop corporate leadership for the Civil Service (Cabinet Office).

  Not seen to be the responsibility of DSA to develop corporate leadership. We are expecting Cabinet Office to take this forward.

Action Point 5

  Develop a business planning process with bold aspirations.

  DSA havealready developed and introduced a business planning process that includes bold aspirations. This has been in place since the Agency's inception in 1990.

Action Point 6

  Give coherence to the many objectives now being set (PSAs and spending review 2000).

  DSA has a set of six higher level objectives that can clearly be seen to be relevant to the operational business needs of the organisation and link back to the DETR road safety objectives. In addition staff at all levels within the Agency have their own, regularly reviewed, objectives that they are required to match to one or more of the higher objectives in a balanced scorecard style approach. All objectives meet the SMARTER criteria.

Action Point 7

  Independent review of business planning.

  The Agency use their Advisory Board, which comprises senior independent members, and the DETR Corporate, Business & Agencies Division (CBAD) to undertake independent reviews of DSA business planning.

Action Point 8

  Work towards new pay and appraisal systems: For SCS introduction in April 2001 (for Departments' introduction in 2002).

  DSA presently has a performance management based staff reporting system, for pay and appraisal of staff, at Grade 6 level and below. We are at present in the process of reviewing the pay and grading structure ofthe Agency with a view to introducing a new system from August 2000. The Agency is keen to evaluate and review the appraisal process once the current programme has been concluded. In order to do this effectively the Agency would wish to bid for £20K of funding under the "Invest to Modernise Fund" in order to use an external consultant to take this forward.

Action Point 9

  Review SCS competences (Cabinet Office).

  The review of SCS competencies is applicable to Cabinet Office not DSA.

Action Point 10

  Re-direct training programmes to support performance management by July 2000.

  Work is well underway in this respect with the introduction, towards the end of 1999, of a DSA management development programme (MDP), closely linked to our performance management systems. A recent Investors in People (IiP) assessment suggested we need to direct effort in developing junior managers, particularly among the Driving Examine grades. In order to move the MDP forward at a faster rate we wish to make an additional of £50k from the "Invest to Modernise Fund". This additional funding may also allow us to offer the MDP across the rest of the DETR family.

Action Point 11

  Guidance on better non-pay packages (Cabinet Office) by summer 2000.

  Guidance on better non-pay packages to be taken forward by Cabinet Office.

Action Point 12

  Set diversity targets by March 2000.

  Challenging diversity targets are now in the process of being prepared as part of our 2000-2001 action plan. We recognise we have a steep hill to climb and therefore wish to bid for £25K from the "Invest to Modernise Fund" in year one to hire a consultant to look at breaking down cultural recruitment barriers. Then in year two we wish to bid for a further £75K to implement the findings and overhaul materials. However, none of this will amount to anything without effective training. We therefore wish to bid, over the next two years, for another £5K from the "Invest to Modernise Fund" to review the existing programme, and £25K to deliver an additional MDP module on managing diversity.

Action Point 13

  Include diversity objectives and targets in business plans and managers' job plans.

  These diversity targets will be included in the DSA 2000-2001 business plan. All managers' job plans for next year will include measurable outcomes.

Action Point 14

  Diversity action plans.

  Currently in the process of producing an action plan. We have identified the need for good quality and fairly urgent equality proofing of our human resource management including pay. We therefore wish to bid for £30k in year one, and £60k in year two, from the "Invest to Modernise Fund", for an in-depth quality health check to review current process, and to benchmark with other employers.

Action Point 15

  Report annually on diversity progress.

  DSA will provide progress reports towards the DETR wide report to Ministers.

Action Point 16

  Increase Departmental interchange targets for secondments to 65 per cent of SCS.

  DETR have responsibility for the two SCS staff in DSA. For the interchange at other grades we have a scheme in place with other DVO agencies for short term shadowing opportunities. Depending on the success of this scheme we will look to set up more formal interchange arrangements.

Action Point 17

  To identify 100 prominent key tasks for secondees, in parallel bring on 100 middle managers through public service leaders scheme.

  Nominations will be considered for the public service leaders' scheme and the Chief Executive supports, and will seek to contribute towards, the two initiatives.

Action Point 18

  Achieve 100 pe cent year on year increase in open competitions.

  The DSA posts at SCS level, and the majority of other senior and middle management posts, are already offered in open competition so there is little scope for an increase.

Action Point 19

  To re-define and re-name the fast stream by December 2000.

  We understand that this will be taken forward by the Cabinet Office.

Action Point 20

  Create space through targeted early retirement.

  DSA has no plans at present to target early retirement and is looking to employ efficient staff to age 65 whenever possible. The Agency will however be seeking to monitor performance more effectively to ensure we are only retaining the staff who are giving efficient service.

Action Point 21

  Departments will talent spot and set up targeted comprehensive development programmes by October 2000.

  The Agency is already in the process of setting up an external fast track scheme, bringing in a small number of high calibre recent graduates on an annual basis. In addition we intend to introduce an internal scheme of a similar nature to bring on some existing staff who are identified to have exceptional potential. We are also developing our Management Development Programme (see action point 10).

Action Point 22

  To set up a public service leaders scheme to train 100 non-fast stream managers during 2000 (Cabinet Office).

  The public service leaders scheme to be set up by the Cabinet Office.

Action Point 23

  To open up mobility between departments and an electronic market place on a new web-site by June 2000.

  Electronic market place on new web-site to be set up by Cabinet Office.

Action Point 24

  Give most promising performers wider experience in areas of front line delivery, new presumption to reach the SCS (experience of front line delivery or operational management and working in more than one culture).

  This is likely to affect DETR and other large departments with high levels of front-line involvement with the general public rather than DSA. However we will be informing all our staff of the need to gain such experience if they hope to advance to SCS level.

Action Point 25

  Introduce marketable qualifications at a number of skill levels (Cabinet Office).

  Although seen to be more appropriate to Cabinet Office the Agency is looking to introduce qualifications in a number of areas including accountancy, procurement, estates, personnel and call centre management.

Action Point 26

  Make more use of merit promotion in post immediately.

  DSA would welcome some relaxation in this respect but have some concerns in relation to the Civil Service Commissioners' stance to fair and open competition. However we intend to look at the feasibility of some form of accelerated progression for suitable candidates under the pay and grading review.

Action Point 27

  Draw up a better deal for staff during 2000 (Cabinet Office with Departments).

  DSA would like to conduct an attitude survey in 2000, through an external consultant, and wish to bid for £30k from the "Invest to Modernise Fund" to do this. We are also intending to investigate the possibility of doing an external benchmarking exercise.


 
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